Q: I WAS HELPING A FRIEND PREPARE A LIVING TRUST HE PASSED AWAY AND NOW THE FAMILY WANT ME TO GIVE THEM ALL THE INFORMATION
A: If your friend did not sign the trust before he passed, there is no trust in place. Also, if he signed the trust, but did not move his assets into the trust, the document will likely be insufficient to keep the family from going through the probate process. In other words, if your friend had assets with a total value of $166,250 or more that are OUTSIDE the trust (other than retirement assets that do not go into the trust), then the family has to file a Petition with the Probate Court regardless of whether they receive any information from you. With no trust or will in place, the law says who gets your friend's assets. That's why it is so important to do estate planning and have everything signed and funded before passing. That having been said, I'm sorry for the loss of your friend.
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